A survey conducted by an outside political group aligned with President Donald Trump shows a tight contest in the Alabama Senate race, according to polling numbers shared with Roll Call.
America First Policies, which is run by former Trump campaign aides, conducted two surveys following allegations of sexual misconduct against the GOP nominee, former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore.
So far nine women have come forward accusing Moore of inappropriate behavior, with three accusing him of sexual assault. Several said Moore pursued them while he was in his thirties and they were teenagers. Moore has denied any wrongdoing.
America First Policies conducted the first survey from Nov. 13 to Nov. 16, a few days after the Washington Post published its first story with the allegations. The survey of 600 likely voters in Alabama showed Democrat Doug Jones with an 8-point lead, garnering support from 49 percent of respondents compared to 41 percent who backed Moore.
The group conducted a second survey, also of 600 likely voters, showing a closer margin two weeks later. The second survey was conducted from Nov. 26 to Nov. 28. Forty-six percent said they would vote for Moore while 45 percent said they would vote for Jones.
The surveys had a margin of error of 4 points. Half the respondents were surveyed online. Live callers surveyed the rest of the respondents over the phone. One-quarter were surveyed via landlines and one-quarter were surveyed via cell phones. The Polling Company and National Research, Inc., conducted the surveys.
The survey shows Jones’ initial boost after the sexual misconduct reports has waned, America First Policies president Brian O. Walsh said.
“Although there has been a massive amount of investment and media attention surrounding the race, Doug Jones has tumbled,” Walsh said. “This election is a dead heat and far from over.”
It is not clear if the group’s polling will prompt the organization to spend resources supporting Moore. A spokesperson for America First Policies said a decision has not been made.
The group was active in the GOP primary, supporting Sen. Luther Strange, who Trump had endorsed. Strange lost to Moore by 10 points in the GOP runoff.
America First Policies spent more than $452,000 and America First Action, a Trump allied Super PAC, spent $155,000 supporting Strange, according to Open Secrets.
While Republican organizations including the Republican National Committee and the National Republican Senatorial Committee have cut financial ties with Moore’s campaign, the White House is weighing a last-minute push to help Moore, Politico reported this week. A White House spokesman did not return a request for comment on the report.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Monday that Trump did not have any plans to campaign for Moore before the Dec. 12 election.
Polls since the allegations have varied, showing Moore with a slight lead in recent days. The Real Clear Politics polling average has Moore ahead by 2 points.
Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the race a Toss-Up.